I am in desperate need of hair help.
February 10, 2008 8:03 PM   Subscribe

I need some hair help. I'm an 18 year old girl and I've never had a really good haircut; I've basically kept it long and kind-of layered for my entire life and I am bored to death. I need some ideas!

So, at the moment my hair is nearly to my shoulder blades and totally boring. I've kept it long my entire life, with an experiment in bangs that lasted through elementary school. In the last couple of years I get it cut approximately never, usually going to the hair salon at the mall and getting a few inches cut off about twice a year. I usually ask for layers that will still let me pull my hair back, but I never really get anything fantastic.

So, I look like this and my hair looks like this. My hair has never been colored, nor do I straighten or blow dry it, so it's quite healthy. It's fairly thick and sort of meh-wavy towards the ends. I am seriously low maintenance with it, in case you can't tell, and I'm not really willing to start a regimen.

I am not against bangs. I am *very* willing to get my hair cut much shorter. I basically want something low maintenance with some body and bounce and whatnot to it, maybe like this random Flickr lady's hair. My current style (if you can call it that) means my hair sort of hangs there most of the time, except when I pull it back. Which is what I do a fair amount of the time, when I don't have it tucked behind my ears.

Mefites, I need specific hair advice! Pictures, exact terms to tell a hairstylist, suggestions for said stylist in the Dallas area, anything. I'm frustrated with not knowing what to ask for or even what I want, exactly. Help!
posted by MadamM to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't remember how to post a link, but you can try different hairstyles on on a few webpages these days.. Here's one I found on a google search for "try on hairstyles". I like this one. And there are a few more.
posted by onanon at 8:26 PM on February 10, 2008

I can see you with something like this or like this (imagine it pushed back more)- very low maintenance- you could let it dry naturally, part it any which way and go, will work with the slightly wavy texture you have, very funky and stylish. The problem you describe of having boring hair that either hangs or is in a boring pullback is one reason I don't like having hair that long- I always feel boring.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:31 PM on February 10, 2008 [2 favorites]

I would go short short short! I only recently grew my hair out - for years I had various styles of short hair, and I loved it. I find that short cuts are particularly versatile, and low-maintenance, and pretty darling.

The way that I would phrase this to my stylist is this: I want a cut that is layered - but instead of leaving them long enough to pull back, I would ask that they be long enough so that you can tuck them behind your ears - textured, and that allows for a lot of movement. Make sure to specify the length you desire.

Here are some style that I think would suit you: one, two (this is most like my current hair cut, and let me tell you: it is super low maintenance and I love it), and three (I also noticed that your hair is kind of wavy - so you could totally rock this cut, and not have to stress about "styling" so much, as your hair already has the body).

I used to dye my hair quite often, but stopped because (a) upkeep is ridiculously expensive, (b) upkeep can be time consuming, and (c) I decided I didn't want to contribute any more than necessary to a profession that charges women inordinately more for hair care than it does men (YMMV).
posted by numinous at 8:34 PM on February 10, 2008

Yeeah... I've tried those things before and the problem is, they usually only let you do a little bit before you have to shell out. The one you linked included.
posted by MadamM at 8:36 PM on February 10, 2008

That comment was directed towards onanon, sorry.

Thanks for the advice! I have worried about going too short because my face is sort of round; it's most evident when I smile. I have this horrible vision (which I know I will probably not end up with, but which nonetheless scares me) of a terrible little kid type page boy that makes my face look fat. Eeek. I should also mention that my hair is pretty flat to my head from years of parting it one way, straight down the middle. It does not like being parted other ways, nor does it have much volume, although I imagine cutting it properly would help a lot with that.
posted by MadamM at 8:42 PM on February 10, 2008

You are a makeover artist's dream come true, find out who that person in your area is by asking people you see with fantastic hair cuts. Long graduated layers is what the flicker gal has. If you came to me I would suggest a Klute shag.
posted by hortense at 8:45 PM on February 10, 2008

I get my hair cut at Arrojo Studio in NY and they are simply amazing for both men and women. Since you are most likely not going to fly to NY to get your hair cut, you should at least check out their site for ideas. Most of the women have really cool hair. Check out Amanda's cut at the bottom of this page. Or maybe Hillary on this page.

I recommend going short since it will always grow out and it's fun to take that chance!
posted by anthropoid at 8:47 PM on February 10, 2008

I, too, used to part my hair straight down the middle. The best thing about hair is that it's TRAINABLE! It may feel weird for a few days, but your hair will naturally adjust to the new way that it's parted. I would highly suggest that you mix up it (!!!!!!!), and go with a side-part (especially if you plan on getting side-swept bangs, which I also suggest).

Side Part! Side Part! Side Part!
posted by numinous at 8:51 PM on February 10, 2008

I would suggest this. (Yes, I giggled at who the celebrity is, too.)

I have this horrible vision (which I know I will probably not end up with, but which nonetheless scares me) of a terrible little kid type page boy that makes my face look fat.

It's funny because when I saw your photo I thought the shape of your face lends itself to a midlength cut! However a shoulder length cut with lots of layers (soft layers around your face) would be great too. The right kind of layers will liberate the pretty wave in your hair, as will good products. I wish I could recommend some but my hair is different.

Ponytails are great but ask your stylist about more sophisticated updos that you could incorporate into your hair repretoire for different occasions.

As far as your hair being flat on your head, that could be easily fixed with product and styling. When you're at the salon be observant, ask questions, and practice at home.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!
posted by red_lotus at 9:14 PM on February 10, 2008

I second the katie holmes suggestion. It would look way cute on you. But seriously, its not the photo thats going to make you happy with your cut. Find a really good hairdresser. Someone who understands different types of hair and how the lines of the cut will interplay with your facial features. If you're in New York or London this should be no problem...otherwise happy hunting and good luck!
posted by anadem at 10:33 PM on February 10, 2008

Seconding anthropoid's suggestion of the Hillary cut. It is a classic, kickin' haircut and you have a great face for it!
posted by DarlingBri at 2:50 AM on February 11, 2008

My wife, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law have apparently had good luck at the Ogle School in Ft. Worth. There's apparently one in Dallas as well. As a bonus, it's inexpensive, and they have teachers who make sure the students don't mess up your hair.
posted by JMOZ at 5:38 AM on February 11, 2008

I like the Katie Holmes suggestion, too.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:36 AM on February 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Definitely get some sort of bangs - preferably side-swept. I used to have hair like yours - straight, natural, no real style. My friend kindly told me that it just looks like I don't care about it since it had no shape. (BTW, SHAPE is a good word to know. Hair should FRAME your face, not hang off your head.) I tried bangs and voila! Despite my still lack of care, the fact that I had something that gave my face some shape made it look so much better.

Also, considering you like to put it up, the bangs will definitely make the ponytail into something cute and not something that looks like you just didn't care enough about in the morning. Trust me!
posted by pinksoftsoap at 7:42 AM on February 11, 2008

Clairol has a website where you can see how different hairstyles would look on you. Example from Flickr.
posted by mlis at 7:25 PM on February 11, 2008

I like the Katie Holmes cut too, especially because of the long, asymetrical bangs. A heavy bang across your forehead would compete with your strong brows- too much horizontal will make your perfect oval face look wide/ round. Katie also has a strong horizontal brow that frames her eyes, and I think the cut in that picture works really well on her. The swinginess of a mid length cut would be great on you.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:37 PM on February 11, 2008

I suggest that you budget to spend a good bit of money on this haircut and go to a stylist who's really, really good. A good stylist can help you sort through photos you bring in and tailor a style that you like to look fantastic on you.

When I lived in Dallas, I went to Spa Atelier in Irving -- and had the best haircuts of my life. Can't seems to get a link to their website, but city search pulls up contact info. In 2001, cuts were around $60 - $80 based on stylist.

And definitely post a link to a photo of your new hair!

posted by argylekneesocks at 7:10 AM on February 12, 2008

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